Our Green Commitment

Logging practices in the tropical rainforest are generally misunderstood. Our goal of this page is to help explain some of the common misconceptions regarding rainforest logging, and to help consumers make intelligent decisions regarding lumber products from tropical South America and Southeast Asia.

one-sapling-brazil-rain-forest Tropical Logging
brazil-forest-map-para-amazonas Tropical Logging

We do not clear-cut to harvest timber. The common misconception among many consumers is that companies clear-cut large sections of trees when harvesting exotic lumber. In reality, the only environmentally and economically viable option for extracting lumber from a tropical rainforest is selective harvesting. When practicing selective harvesting, only between 20 and 200 trees are harvested within every 1000 acres of forest. Clear-cutting in the South American rainforests only occurs when land is cleared for farming and ranching, or by illegal means.

burned-for-ranching Tropical Logging

Coincidentally and somewhat ironically, the greatest danger to our rainforests is the expansion of agricultural areas to grow food and to raise cattle. In order to create room for farms and ranches in such a densely forested area, clear-cutting must be performed. Government agencies such as IBAMA in Brazil as well as third party certification agencies such as the FSC, Forest Stewardship Council, require land management plans which are based on selective and sustainable logging practices.

saplings-brazil-nursery-greenhouse Tropical Logging
fly-over-logging-area Tropical Logging
satplot-forestry-management-plan Tropical Logging

Any company logging in the tropical rainforests of South America must submit detailed forest management plans in order to extract timber. Areas that will be logged must be carefully mapped out and divided into sections where each tree will be identified by its specie. With the assistance of GPS, detailed maps are created by computers and by hand. Seed trees of each specie are left in order to allow natural regeneration to take place. Smaller trees that are under specified sizes are also left in place so that they may be cut in the next logging cycle, typically in 20 to 30 years.

teak-plantation-mato-grosso-brazil Tropical Logging

In many cases, government agencies will require that companies also replant areas that have been cleared in the past. This is typically done with Teak or Mahogany plantations that can replace ranching areas. It doesn’t take long to turn a bare patch of land into a plantation forest; after only 5 years, the average height of these plantation trees is already 15 feet.

landing-strip-cut-into-forest-manaus-brazil Tropical Logging

Selective logging in tropical forests is the best way to add value to the standing forest resource. People live in these regions and will use the forest resource for their livelihood. The tropical wood industry is well positioned to play a key role in helping to preserve the rain forests by providing value and jobs without chopping the forest down.

sunset-amazon-river-manaus Tropical Logging